“résistance//résidence” (March 2013) was an evening of queer art and performances, curated and hosted by Kama La Mackerel, with and by queer and trans people of color in Montréal, and presented as part of Radical Queer Semaine.
In times where the demarcations of the settler colonial state writes itself in ink that thickens daily, how do Queer and Trans People of Colour (QTPOC) migrants assert sovereignty over their bodies? When gender non-conforming bodies of colour are invariably marked, read and treated as Other (the terrorist, the orientalized, the fetishized, the exoticized, the demonized, the disposable, the slaveable), how do QTPOC artists carve narratives of self-determination outside of the vocabulary of Otherness?
résistance//résidence brings together five Montreal-based contemporary queer and trans artists of colour, each working in different media, to rewrite their bodies without borders. Prathna Lor and Kai Cheng Thom are both contemporary poets and performers whose work explore the intersecting themes of race, diaspora, migration, gender, sexuality while pursuing an engagement with questions ethics and social justice. Hua Li and Zara Ahmed are musicians and singers, whose work centre themes of displacement, race and feminism. Kama La Mackerel’s work traces the emotional impact of the immigration process onto the body in performance.
With these 5 artists presenting their work alongside each other, résistance//résidence initiates a dialogue about the space occupied by QTPOC communities within the structure of the nation state. This performance evening also sheds light on voices that have traditionally been marginalized and silenced, foregrounding a poetics of decolonization into queer artistic practices. Through their performances, these artists re-imagine the borders of the nation-state, and provoke reflections around citizenship, who is allowed in, and who is not.
Presented as the official performance night of Radical Queer Semaine, “résistance//résidence,” offers a critical stance on the dominant whiteness of radical queer artistic spaces in Montreal.